Transavantgarde, artists and art
Italian critic, Bonito Achille Oliva, coined this term for art-making that rejected the tenents of conceptual art and attempted to bring emotion—specifically the joy of creation—back into the process. By reviving figuration and symbolism, this group of artists, who came to prominence in the 80s, aimed to restore myth, mystery, and magic to contemporary art. This movement became well known in art circles and was appreciated for its bold decision to return to the roots of what makes mysterious, mystical art so appealing.
It is neither a school nor a trend, but rather an orientation, theorised in 1979 by critic Achille Bonito Oliva as an overcoming of the minimalist, process and conceptual art experiences which had characterised the 1960s and 1970s with their legacy of performances, happenings and installations. Transavantgarde was officially born in 1980 in the Aperto ’80 section devised by Achille Bonito Oliva and Harald Szeemann at the 39th Venice Biennial, and later establishes itself at the international level with the exhibition Transavanguardia Italia / America held at the Civic Gallery of Modena in 1982, which includes international art stars such as Jean Michel Basquiat, David Salle and Julian Schnabel..